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Colin in Black and White: Ava DuVernay on Sky News’ Backstage Podcast on Kaepernick’s Story |  Ents & Arts News

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Colin in Black and White: Ava DuVernay on Sky News’ Backstage Podcast on Kaepernick’s Story | Ents & Arts News

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Ava DuVernay has some tips for teens.

The filmmaker, who made history by becoming the first black female director to make a film nominated for best picture Oscar with the historical drama Selma, recently spent a lot of time with young people on sets.

Over the past few years, DuVernay has made the big budget Disney adaptation Wrinkle In Time, as well as When They See Us – a Netflix show based on the real Central Park jogger case that saw a group of young black men falsely convicted of raping a white woman in New York City.

Picture:
The story of sports star and activist Colin Kaepernick is told in Colin In Black And White. All photos: Netflix

Now she has turned her attention to the formative years of the sports star and activist. Colin Kaepernick, who inspired a movement when he refused to represent the national anthem at an American football game in 2016 – choosing instead to kneel down, in protest against police brutality and racial injustice.

DuVernay says doing Colin in black and white gave him a new perspective on his own youth.

Colin in Black and White: Ava DuVernay on Sky News’ Backstage Podcast on Kaepernick’s Story |  Ents & Arts News

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Picture:
San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick (right) and Eric Reid (left) take the knee during the US National Anthem at a 2016 NFL football game

“Manufacturing [the show] Made me think about my own teenage years and how the things I went through really shaped who I am now, ”she told Sky News’ Backstage podcast. “You just wish you could tell the children, what you are going through at the moment matters, it’s important, be careful, don’t let go.

“Very often they are told that they are not important, but those times when you are a teenager are the most important, they are so important. They build who you become and how you react to challenges and triumphs later in life. . “

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Picture:
Director and co-creator Ava DuVernay and Jaden Michael (also below), who plays young Kaepernick in the series. Photo: Arturo Holmes / Netflix
Colin in Black and White: Ava DuVernay on Sky News’ Backstage Podcast on Kaepernick’s Story |  Ents & Arts News

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DuVernay admits that she had no intention of doing a show about Kaepernick’s younger years; it was actually the former NFL player who brought him the idea.

“So for me it was an opportunity to say, okay we can do that if we can use it as a springboard to talk about it a lot more. And that’s why in the article you will see that I sort of directed him the gallery of his mind, where we go out, we see memories, we see bits of history, we see bits of cultural context on all these stories of his childhood, so it’s this beautiful pastiche of forms within the show, which was really exciting as a filmmaker. “

The show is not easy to define, as the dramatized version of Kaepernick’s life story is mixed in with him as the narrator in a vision making artful remarks on race and culture.

DuVernay says it’s more than a child’s story.

“It allowed us to take the childhood and expand it and make sure there was more context and contrast than just telling a child’s story – it’s the child on the point of being the hero, right? And that basically says that we can all be the heroes in our own lives as long as we really pay attention every step of the way, because every step counts. “

In order to tell Kaepernick’s story, DuVernay set out to recruit the perfect people to play as his adoptive white parents.

Colin in Black and White: Ava DuVernay on Sky News’ Backstage Podcast on Kaepernick’s Story |  Ents & Arts News

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Picture:
Mary-Louise Parker and Nick Offerman play Kaepernick’s adoptive parents, Teresa and Rick

She hired Parks and Recreation actor Nick Offerman and Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker, an actress who could relate to Kaepernick’s mother on a personal level because she too has an adopted black child.

“These were exactly the people I wanted, I was a huge fan of both of them,” said DuVernay. “Nick Offerman, I think, is just a brilliant thinker, and that was really interesting because in the United States he has a very particular audience of people who feel connected to him, but don’t necessarily know his politics – that’s is a very liberal dude, he’s very radical in his vision of fairness and justice, and so I really wanted to talk to people who are his fans who need to hear something new.

“And then Mary-Louise is just really close to the topic… There was a nice connection for her personally – the mother in the story handles things very differently from Mary-Louise, but I think it was enlightening for her, and it was wonderful to have an actor so close to the subject. “

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While DuVernay ran the show, she says he’s really Kaepernick’s baby – and he’s been involved every step of the way.

“Colin was part of the whole process, really a little over my shoulder for the most part and [was] able to say, “Oh, it wasn’t quite like that and I would have done it that way,” which we welcomed until the end.

“So it’s really a collaboration – his story is told in a way that appeals to me as an artist that I can put my name on it, but really tells a story that he wanted to tell.”

Colin in Black and White is out now on Netflix. Hear our review in the latest episode of Backstage, Sky News’ film and TV podcast

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